Microsoft Windows 7 RC1
Windows 7 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is a polished piece of work, ready for prime time
- Early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista
- Too soon to make a proper assessment of the operating system
It's way too early to make a proper assessment of Windows 7, but Microsoft has made its intentions clear: Windows 7 is intended to right the wrongs Vista wrought, but retain that operating system's good points. And at this point, we can't argue with that. Our early beta tests suggest that the OS will be quicker than Vista, which can only be a good thing. We'll be updating this review as we get more information on and time with Windows 7, so be sure to bookmark this page.
Windows 7: searching and organising
One interesting new feature in Windows 7's Explorer is called "libraries". In essence it's a way of making like content scattered in various folders easily accessible. The OS ships with several predefined libraries — for documents, music, pictures, and video — but you can create your own based on whatever criteria you choose — file type, date created, or other metadata such as music genre.
Windows 7 libraries
Libraries figure actively in Windows 7's improved search. Results are organised based on libraries rather than on file locations. Windows 7 also allows you to perform so-called federated searches — searches across multiple PCs on your network. So, for example, you might search for photos across the photo libraries of all the PCs in your HomeGroup.
Windows 7: more multimedia in more places
Once upon a time, Microsoft's approach to audio and video seemed to hinge on Windows Media Player and its file formats coming to dominate digital entertainment the way Windows dominates the PC. Instead, we live in a world where multiple approaches to media flourish, and where iTunes and the iPod, not Microsoft-based products, are everywhere.
Windows 7's new multimedia capabilities acknowledge this reality by emphasising features that help the OS play well with others — including with products that hail from a certain company named after a piece of fruit.
Windows 7 aims to streamline playback, too — so much so that it offers two different lightweight ways to consume media without employing full-strength Windows Media Player. You can listen to music and watch video by using the preview pane in Windows Explorer, without launching Windows Media Player at all.
Or you can load up WMP but work with a simple view that hides you media library and fits comfortably into a small floating window on your desktop leaving the rest of your display visible (and usable).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft’s Sydney store will open its doors on 12 November
- Microsoft's Office 2016 intro guides are here, a week late and short on useful details
- Netflix's ho-hum virtual reality debut needs some refinement
- Microsoft's Office 2016 update launches with renewed focus on collaboration
- Google Play Games, Photos updates offer hints at upcoming features
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC